Where to Go

An Insider’s Guide To Snowbird Season In Orlando, Florida

See which activities start warming up in the winter months

The Vacationeer
Stunning aerial view of the downtown city skyline from Eola Park in Orlando, Florida

When winter arrives and temperatures drop, many travelers flock to Florida in hopes of trading snow boots for swimsuits, salted sidewalks for sandy beaches and gray skies for endless sunshine. So the next time you want to warm up on vacation, here are the coolest things to do in Orlando during snowbird season.

Enjoy Theme Parks And Festivals

While summer seems like the go-to time to visit Central Florida’s theme parks, there’s something special about experiencing the attractions when winter rolls in. The mild weather brings maximum enjoyment, and each park delivers its own unique blend of seasonal festivals and holiday magic.

Walt Disney World® Resort

Experience over 40 square miles of fun across four incredible parks at Walt Disney World Resort — and consider planning your stay to align with one of their annual events:

Universal Orlando® Resort

Experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at Universal Studios Florida and celebrate snowbird season in style with these signature events:

  • November to January: Dazzling decor and epic entertainment await when you hang out during Holidays at Universal Orlando. Be sure to stop by Seuss Landing™ for The Grinchmas™ Who-liday Spectacular.
  • February to April: Marquee concerts with big-name artists and nightly parades with mega floats are quite the crowd pleaser at Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras party.

SeaWorld® Orlando

Silhouettes of young family enjoying views of an underwater tank with corals and fish   

Mingle with marine life, ride thrilling coasters that defy gravity, witness awe-inspiring live shows and enjoy interactive exhibits during your visit to SeaWorld® Orlando. You can elevate the experience with a trip during the holidays.

  • November to January: The entire park transforms into a wintery, watery wonderland during this annual Christmas celebration. You won’t want to miss the impressive Sea of Trees located in SeaWorld’s lagoon.
  • December 31: Music, dancing, food, wine and fireworks — it’s a one-of-a-kind New Year’s Eve event with a side of thrill rides and animal encounters.

Stay: SeaWorld® Orlando, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club keeps you close to all of the area’s most popular attractions. Located opposite SeaWorld® Orlando, this timeshare resort will make you feel right at home with multi-bedroom suites that feature full kitchens and spacious living and dining areas.

Step Outside To Explore

When you want to go beyond rides and rollercoasters, you’ll find a world of outdoor entertainment waiting for you in Central Florida. The area’s natural beauty shines bright through the winter months — with nature trails, botanical gardens and national parks that are ideal for hiking, biking, boating and exploring.

Scenic view of the lush canal on the Winter Park chain of lakes, Winter Park, Florida   
  • Bike the West Orange Trail. This scenic trail stretches over 20 miles, winding through charming neighborhoods, historic markets, rolling pastures, wooded areas and orange groves. The stretch through downtown Winter Garden is a local favorite.
  • Hike in Wekiwa Springs State Park. With miles of hiking and biking trails, this 7,000-acre park is a local gem that’s located just 20 minutes north of Orlando. Explore lush landscapes, encounter native wildlife, and canoe, kayak or fish on the Wekiwa River.
  • Paddle away at Lake Eola Park. Located in downtown Orlando, Lake Eola is a picturesque urban retreat. Rent a swan boat and paddle across the serene lake to enjoy stunning views of the city.
  • Cruise on the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour. For an off-the-beaten-path experience, take a guided boat tour through three of the seven lakes on the Winter Park chain.
  • Discover the beauty of Leu Gardens. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the tranquility of Harry P. Leu Gardens — a 50-acre botanical oasis with plant collections from around the world, including a rainforest and butterfly garden.

Play For Birdies And Bogies

Orlando is a golfer’s paradise, complete with lush fairways, manicured greens, challenging courses and year-round sunshine. There are more than 150 courses in the area — several of which were designed by some of the sport’s most renowned icons including Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman.

LPGA star Annika Sorenstam tees off at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions in Orlando, Florida   

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a casual enthusiast, you’re sure to find exceptional public courses and golfing unique experiences when you head to the City Beautiful for winter.

  • Orange County National: Home to two exceptional public courses, Panther Lake and Crooked Cat, Orange County National is an ideal spot for players of all levels. The facility also features a 360-degree driving range for those looking to fine-tune their skills.
  • Celebration Golf Club: Tucked away in the charming town of Celebration, which was originally founded and developed by Disney, this course offers a serene and picturesque golfing experience.
  • Winter Park Golf Course: Located right in the middle of the stunning neighborhood of Winter Park, this 9-hole municipal course is a must-play for golf enthusiasts.
  • Shingle Creek Golf Club: Shingle Creek is an Arnold Palmer Signature-designed course renowned for its scenic fairways and challenging holes, complete with strategically placed bunkers and pristine water features.
  • Dubsdread Golf Course: This historic gem has a rich legacy dating back to 1924 and features a classic course with beautiful tree-lined fairways.

Stay: Mystic Dunes, a Hilton Vacation Club is a solid choice for travelers looking to hit the greens during winter. Plan to practice your swing at the Mystic Dunes Golf Course, a 72-par public course designed by Champions Tour Player and NBC Golf Analyst Gary Koch. Young golfers can also putt for par at the resort's mini-golf course.

Insider tip: Every January, you can experience an unforgettable week that blends elite LPGA golf with one-of-a-kind concerts and incredible celebrity sightings. Find out how to snag your tickets to the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions. It’s the ultimate snowbird vacation experience.

Shop, Stroll, Wine And Dine

From luxury malls and outlet stores to high-end eateries and sidewalk cafes, shopping and dining in Orlando can be as magical as its theme parks. 

An aerial view of Tuscany Village, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Orlando, Florida   
  • Park Avenue District: Experience the cultural gem of Winter Park, Florida — where tree-lined, cobblestone streets are dotted with one-of-a-kind boutiques, art galleries, sidewalk cafes, cozy bistros and trendy eateries. You can also unwind in the 11-acre, oak-canopied Central Park.
  • Disney Springs: You’ll discover a wonderous mix of waterside cafes, world-class restaurants, Disney-themed shops, upscale boutiques and whimsical entertainment at this amazing outdoor shopping complex.
  • The Mall at Millenia: For those looking for a little luxury, the Mall at Millenia is a must-shop spot. This upscale mall features brands such as Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Browse the stores, then unwind with a delicious meal at one of the mall’s restaurants.
  • Orlando Outlets. Bargain hunters rejoice at the Orlando International Premium Outlets® and the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets®. Score great deals at your favorite stores including Nike, Coach and Kate Spade.
  • International Drive. International Drive in Orlando (known to locals as I-Drive) is a destination in its own right. Stretching over 11 miles, this bustling boulevard offers a variety of entertainment, dining and shopping experiences.
  • East End Market. Located just a short drive from downtown Orlando, East End Market is a two-story culinary hub that’s home to a dozen local merchants. It features a food hall, incubator kitchen, demonstration kitchen, retail shops and a world-class ramen restaurant.

Stay: Tuscany Village, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club gives you direct access to the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets®. This Orlando timeshare resort is also especially great for families, with plenty of space to stretch out in 1-, 2- and 3-Bedroom Suites.

Go Coastal For Beach Days

Fun is always in the forecast when you add a beach trip to your snowbird getaway. Here are a few of the sun-kissed coastlines and seaside havens near Orlando:

Beachfront skyline of Daytona Beach, Florida   
  • Cocoa Beach. Located just an hour’s drive from Orlando, Cocoa Beach is the quintessential beach town. It’s also the surfing capital of the East Coast. Enjoy the area’s laid-back vibe, stroll the historic pier and bask in the sun with the Atlantic Ocean as your backdrop.
  • New Smyrna Beach. New Smyrna Beach is a popular coastal escape situated about an hour and a half from Orlando. This local gem boasts 17 miles of pristine shoreline and combines natural beauty with a serene atmosphere. Go for a bike ride on the beach, check out the boutiques and cafes on Flagler Avenue, or watch for dolphins while kayaking on the Indian River Lagoon.
  • Daytona Beach. Famous for its iconic racing culture and white-sand beaches, this family-friendly town is a must-visit destination with everything from world-class golf to water-based activities like fishing and paddleboarding. The Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier is also a solid choice for shopping, dining and entertainment.

Stay: Spend your day exploring the area, then head back to your spacious Studio, Junior, 1- or 2-Bedroom Suite at the Daytona Beach Regency, a Hilton Vacation Club.

Read “How To Plan A Budget-Friendly Girls Trip At Hilton Grand Vacations In Orlando” to learn how one Member made unforgettable memories in the City Beautiful.

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The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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